Very funny, Matt, but Dominionism isn't a left wing fantasy
On September 7, 2011 At 10:54 am
Responses : 14 Comments
Matt Barber over at ChristianNewsToday.com supposes he is being cute with his latest opinion piece "The Dominionist Manifesto."
The piece attempts to be silly, and succeeds wonderfully. It is a journalistic gem, in which Mr. Barber basically says Christian Dominionism is a left wing fantasy, and doesn't exist. He offers no serious argument, only offering disdain and sarcasm for Dominionism itself, nullifying every argument possible by simply saying "It doesn't exist."
That's what Dominionists would love you to believe. What does Mr. Barber say, exactly? Here's a bit of his drivel:
Kyle Mantyla with the atheist group “People for the American Way” has been warning for months now that this organized craze of underground Christians plan “to take dominion over, literally, seven specific facets of modern life in order to wrest control away from Satan and his demonic spirits so that Christians can put them to use in bringing about God’s kingdom on Earth.”
Now, you may laugh. You may think these anti-Christian “Dominioners” like Maddow, Goldberg and Mantyla – these fearless progressives risking all to sound the alarm on the rising threat of Christian Dominionism – are just a bunch of liberal, tinfoil hat-wearing kooks.
You might believe they’re merely a left-wing gaggle of tattooed, body-pierced pot-brownie pies in pajamas, no different than 9/11-truthers, global-warmers or Holocaust-deniers.
Oh, you may suppose these liberal Dominioners – daring beyond measure – are simply a batty band of anti-Christian bigots and Daily-Kos-, MSNBC-types looking to smear Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and other GOP presidential hopefuls as a bunch of clandestine theocrats bent on Christian world domination.
It’s true–all of it.
Stop it, this is serious!
I can no longer toe the line. I can no longer remain silent while my Christian Dominionist brethren, numbering in the tens-of-millions, deny our very existence.
What exactly is Dominionism?
Heard of the Illuminati? Skull and Bones Society?
Well, Dominionism is kind of like that except, whereas those pseudo-“subversive” societies are merely “super-secret” – Christian Dominionism is level-nine “super-duper-secret,” sealed in blood with the whole “hope to die,” “thousand needles” thing to emphasize we mean business!
Dominionism’s ultimate goal? Christian New World Order or bust, baby!
It gets worse. I'll save you from having to read any more of Barber's tripe, so you can salvage the next ten minutes of your life.
Dominionism does exist, and news agencies are finally starting to wake up to this fact, and they are starting to report on it more. And just like roaches exposed to the light, Dominionists are scurrying into the corners trying to get everybody to believe they don't exist. Take this example from Os Hillman who recently updated his "Reclaiming the 7 Mountains" site:
The 7 mountains initiative is not an initiative to establish dominion over all the earth or in governments. It is not an initiative that does not love and serve all people on the earth or seeks to alleviate other faith expressions. As followers of Christ, we believe we are called to love all people, regardless of faith, lifestyle or gender orientation. God loves all people. He provides guidelines for living as found in the Holy Scriptures and we support those guidelines as a people called to love and obey His calling upon our lives. Jesus invites all people into this destiny, but not all will come. We are called to model what Christ taught when He prayed that what was in heaven would be manifested on earth through a people known for their love of one another and others. That means His love and grace would be extended to all people.
George M. Marsden, the Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame spoke of Dominionist Theology as far back as 1980 in his book Fundamentalism and American Culture:
Founded by Rousas J. Rushdoony, an ultra-conservative Presbyterian, Reconstructionism, Theonomy or Dominion Theology, as it is variously called, advocates ultra-conservative economic theory and calls for a theocracy that would include a reinstitution of Old Testament civil law…Nonetheless Reconstructionists helped formulate the early critiques of secular humanism and their call fora biblically based alternative had considerable influence on the rhetoric of the Christian Right (248).
Paul Rosenberg at Al-Jazeera (English edition), wrote a very incisive article about dominionism called "Exposing Religious Fundamentalism in the US." Unlike Mr. Barber, Mr. Rosenberg presents evidence for his contentions, and has this to say:
There are very immediate consequences that flow from the theocratic mindset. You'll note, for example, that the "Seven Mountains" of culture do not include science. That's not because dominionists intend to leave science alone, but rather because they see no need to dominate what they can simply cut off, ignore and deny. If science tells them that homosexuality is an inborn trait, why fight that in the realm of science when politics, the media, religion and education offer much, much better places to fight? After all, who says that education has to be based on facts? The same holds true for evolution and global warming as well, not to mention the workings of the economy.
One rightwing denier of dominionist influence, Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson, even framed his attack as “An unholy war on the Tea Party, while another denier complained that instead of describing the Tea Party as a movement united around concern about big government, many journalists seem to be trying to redefine the colour red by overlaying religious intent and purpose on the movement.
Yet the dominionist connection to the Tea Party goes far beyond just the two candidacies of Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry. Ron Paul, whose extreme anti-government positions helped to fuel the emergence of the Tea Party, has much deeper dominionist connections than either of the two new darlings. During his first term in Congress, one of his aides was Gary North, Rushdoony's son-in-law, and a leading Reconstructionist in his own right, who has written extensively on so-called "Biblical Capitalism", an ideology profoundly at odds with traditional Biblical-based teachings on economic justice.
While libertarians once traced their descent from John Locke, and more recently from the deeply anti-Christian Ayn Rand, Reconstructionism represents an increasingly important foundation for their views. A recently released sociology study, "Cultures of the Tea Party", found that Tea Party supporters are characterised by four dispositions: "authoritarianism, ontological insecurity, libertarianism, and nativism". Since traditional libertarianism was purportedly the opposite of authoritarianism, this highlights how radically libertarianism has changed – a conclusion that's echoed by the 2011 Pew Reaserch Political Typology Poll, which found that religious and economic conservatives had completely merged into one single group since 2006 and all previous polling.
Loren Cunningham, who believes God gave him the 7 Mountains vision, gives the history of the 7 Mountains Mandate:
Os Hillman on his site "Reclaiming the 7 Mountains" reveals the nature of dominionism in his statement about the Mountain of government (emphasis ours):
The Mountain of Government, or politics, is a mountain that the Lord is beginning to position His children to invade and take. As with media, we’ve virtually given this mountain over to the devil. Entire denominations have been known to prohibit their people from being involved with politics because of the corruption that always seems to infect it. The reason politics are considered "of the devil,” of course, is because we have abandoned this mountain to him.
Because of the enemy’s firm grip on this mountain, it’s a very dangerous mountain to take if one is not spiritually prepared for it. Yet we must take it. The Elijah Revolution will begin to displace the forces of darkness from this mountain and establish righteous government on its top.
As we have been noting for nearly a year now, a theology known as "Seven Mountains" has been slowly creeping its way into "mainstream" Religious Right activism.
Beginning with Janet Porter's "May Day for America" prayer rally on the National Mall last year, this Dominionist theology has become increasingly common place in Religious Right events, ranging from the National Day of Prayer events to Jim Garlow's "Pray and Act" 2010 election effort.
As we have explained before, Seven Mountains dominionism seeks to place Christians in control over the seven forces that shape and control our culture: (1) Business; (2) Government; (3) Media; (4) Arts and Entertainment; (5) Education; (6) Family; and (7) Religion. The reason for this, as Lance Wallnau, the leading advocate for Seven Mountains theology, explained is that Jesus "doesn't come back until He's accomplished the dominion of nations." And the way "dominion of nations" is accomplished is by having Christians gain control of these "seven mountains" in order to install a "virtual theocracy" overseen by "true apostles" who will fight Satan and his Antichrist agenda.
In the past we have caught people like Porter teaming up with Seven Mountains advocate Cindy Jacobs and praying for God to give Christians control over the media and government mountains. We've even found David Barton sharing the stage with Jacobs. In fact, later this month both Barton and Garlow will be joining other Seven Mountain Dominionists/Spiritual Warriors for an event called "Government Transformation Summit For Visionary Leaders" [PDF] in Texas.
But Barton has tended to keep his ties to this movement under wraps and we had never heard him explicitly advocate Seven Mountains Dominionism … until today on his radio program:
Barton: There's five areas that you have to be able to influence and control if you are going to take a culture and that's media, business, government, education, and pulpit.
Now, for twenty years as it turns out – I wasn't even aware of this – way back, Bill Bright from Campus Crusade, when he was still alive, Loren Cunningham, Youth With a Mission, these guys got together back at the same time and really felt like there were seven areas that had to be taken for a culture and these are the seven that they gave: family, religion, education, media, entertainment, business and government. Now we've grouped some of those together and throw some together, but they said those are the seven areas you have to have and if you can have those seven areas, you can shape and control whatever takes place in nations, continents, and even the world.
Green: So it's the same idea, saying "look, every single area of the culture you need to be involved in."
Barton: That's right. Christians got to get involved. And there's a Scripture they used that came out of Isiah 2:2 and it says "Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established on the top of the mountains," so this is now called the Seven Mountain Prophecy, there's a book out by that name.
It says the Lord's house is going to be established on top of the mountains and these are the seven mountains. If you're going to establish God's kingdom, you've got to have these seven mountains and again that's family, religion, education, media, entertainment, business and government.
Now that's what we believed all along is you got to get involved in this stuff. Jesus said "you occupy 'til I come."We don't care when he comes, that's up to him. What we're supposed to do is take the culture in the meantime and you got to get involved in these seven areas.
The vocabulary of Dominionism
Dominionism is full of militaristic expressions like "strategy," "take the culture," "infiltrate," "conquer," "surround," "occupy," "mobilize the church," "attack," and the Ohio Reformation Prayer Network even talks about having "prayer cells planted" in large corporations so as to take that mountain.
Bachmann's and Perry's connection to Dominionism
And Michele Bachmann's connection to Dominionism Theology:
Leap of Faith
The making of a Republican front-runner.
by Ryan Lizza, NewYorker.com — August 15, 2011
[ page 5 ]
Today, one of the leading proponents of Schaeffer’s version of Dominionism is Nancy Pearcey, a former student of his and a prominent creationist. Her 2004 book, “Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity,” teaches readers how to implement Schaeffer’s idea that a Biblical world view should suffuse every aspect of one’s life. She tells her readers to be extremely cautious with ideas from non-Christians. [...] “Nevertheless, the overall systems of thought constructed by nonbelievers will be false — for if the system is not built on Biblical truth, then it will be built on some other ultimate principle. Even individual truths will be seen through the distorting lens of a false world view.”When, in 2005, the Minneapolis Star Tribune asked Bachmann what books she had read recently, she mentioned two: Ann Coulter’s “Treason,” a jeremiad that accuses liberals of lacking patriotism, and Pearcey’s “Total Truth,” which Bachmann told me was a “wonderful” book.
And Rick Perry's connection to Dominionism Theology:
Rick Perry's Army of God
A little-known movement of radical Christians and self-proclaimed prophets wants to infiltrate government, and Rick Perry might be their man.
by Forrest Wilder, TexasObserver.org — August 03, 2011
On September 28, 2009, at 1:40 p.m., God’s messengers visited Rick Perry.On this day, the Lord’s messengers arrived in the form of two Texas pastors, Tom Schlueter of Arlington and Bob Long of San Marcos, who called on Perry in the governor’s office inside the state Capitol. Schlueter and Long both oversee small congregations, but they are more than just pastors. They consider themselves modern-day apostles and prophets, blessed with the same gifts as Old Testament prophets or New Testament apostles.
The pastors told Perry of God’s grand plan for Texas. A chain of powerful prophecies had proclaimed that Texas was “The Prophet State,” anointed by God to lead the United States into revival and Godly government. And the governor would have a special role.
At the end of their meeting, Perry asked the two pastors to pray over him. As the pastors would later recount, the Lord spoke prophetically as Schlueter laid his hands on Perry, their heads bowed before a painting of the Battle of the Alamo. Schlueter “declared over [Perry] that there was a leadership role beyond Texas and that Texas had a role beyond what people understand,” Long later told his congregation.
So you have to wonder: Is Rick Perry God’s man for president?
In all the media attention surrounding Perry’s flirtation with a run for the presidency, the governor’s budding relationship with the leaders of the New Apostolic Reformation movement has largely escaped notice. But perhaps not for long. Perry has given self-proclaimed prophets and apostles leading roles in The Response, a much-publicized Christians-only prayer rally [...]
The New Apostlestalk about taking dominion over American society in pastoral terms. They refer to the “Seven Mountains” of society:
family, religion, arts and entertainment, media, government, education, and business.These are the nerve centers of society that God (or his people) must control.
Asked about the meaning of the Seven Mountains, Schlueter says, “God's kingdom just can’t be expressed on Sunday morning for two hours. God’s kingdom has to be expressed in media and government and education. It’s not like our goal is to have a Bible on every child’s desk. That’s not the goal. The goal is to hopefully have everyone acknowledge that God’s in charge of us regardless.”
Once they have taken over the 7 Mountains these types of Christians believe that they have paved the way for Christ to return to earth. From Truthspeaker's blog:
While much of the Christian dominionism in the United States takes on a more conservative look inspired by fears of secularism, such as endorsements of the 7 Mountains takeover by Newt Gingrich’s REAL, Mike Huckabee and the National Day of Prayer Task Force, these non-Western countries experiencing an explosion in “the new Christianity” have been influenced by American preachers who prey upon their poverty and inherent superstitious beliefs. The Christian dominionist movement and particularly, the “apostolic” and “new reformation” branches of it, focuses on the supernatural, on miracles, on prophesies, “spiritual warfare” and intercessory prayer.
In North America, there are a number of high profile dominonist preachers who describe themselves as apostles and prophets, such as Cindy Jacobs, C. Peter Wagner, Lance Walnau, Lou Engle, Dutch Sheets, Chuck Pierce, Rick Joyner, Bob Jones and Canadian Todd Bentley, the latter quite controversial over his divorce and violent preaching style in Lakeland, Florida.
One of these Christian dominionist ministries is Patricia King’s XP Ministries (and XP Media, Extreme Prophetic and similar groups) operating out of Maricopa, Arizona, a town south of Phoenix that received public attention when Sarah Palin’s daughter Bristol bought a house there. King is allegedly Todd Bentley’s “mother of faith” who ordained him.
In the following XP Media broadcast, we see Bentley, Jones and King talking about “the 3rd heaven,” raising the dead and so forth. Jones frankly talks about how their message appeals to Africans, who already believe in demons and supernatural activity.
XP Media provides a wealth of supernatural, Christian dominionist teachings and testimonies. It’s a blend of New Age and Christian dominionist teaching aimed at appealing to individuals frustrated with control, where members claim Christlike powers, including having power over tornadoes, seeing “glory clouds” and raising people from the dead. Lance Walnau, Billy Graham, and others are featured on the site.
In an interview this week between radio host Ingrid Schlueter of VCY America and columnist and researcher Sarah Leslie (from Discernment Ministries/Herescope), the two discuss a recent WorldNetDaily article condemning Discernment Ministries for reporting on the heretical and dangerous New Apostolic Reformation leaders and some evangelicals who are promoting them. Click here to listen to the interview between Ingrid Schlueter and Sarah Leslie. Click here for a partial transcript of the Schlueter/Leslie interview.Sarah Leslie describes Dominionism as the following:
The Gospel of Salvation is achieved by setting up the “Kingdom of God” as a literal and physical kingdom to be “advanced” on Earth in the present age. Some dominionists liken the New Testament Kingdom to the Old Testament Israel in ways that justify taking up the sword, or other methods of punitive judgment, to war against enemies of their kingdom. Dominionists teach that men can be coerced or compelled to enter the kingdom. They assign to the Church duties and rights that belong Scripturally only to Jesus Christ. This includes the esoteric belief that believers can “incarnate” Christ and function as His body on Earth to establish His kingdom rule. An inordinate emphasis is placed on man’s efforts; the doctrine of the sovereignty of God is diminished.1
Throughout the 2000 year history of Christianity there has always been a vein of dominionism embedded in the strata of doctrines. This seam has ebbed and flowed for 20 centuries, sometimes submerged, sometimes exposed. Whenever out in the open, it has given rise to horrible abuses done in the name of Christ. In the early 21st century, once again this vein is now showing and active. Keep in mind:
- Dominionism is always an aberration of true Christian theology.
- A remnant of believers has always opposed it, often suffering a martyr’s fate at the hands of intolerant dominionists.
Bottom line, while we believe that Christians should behave responsibly and actively (even at times with non-violent civil disobedience and resistance when governmental actions persecute certain groups of people - such as Hitler’s regime in Germany when many Christian resisters hid and protected Jewish people) with regard to government and politics, Christians should be able to recognize the difference between this and a dominionist-type mentality. We understand that this presents some confusion for many believers as to their roles in today’s world – and we pray that those who name the name of Jesus Christ will seek out His wisdom and guidance in this issue. After you have read the piece below by Ingrid Schlueter of VCY America and hopefully listened to the interview, please refer to some of our links below for Lighthouse Trails coverage on dominionism.
Worth noting, the evangelical church is absorbing the dominionist mindset through many avenues including the NAR, IHOP, the Purpose Driven, the emerging church, and the contemplative prayer movement.
There's more if you just Google it, Mr. Barber–over half a million hits on the word "dominionism" alone. Denying Dominionism exists is like denying the Shoah happened, and it does nobody a service to disseminate disinformation in order to defend a group that believes stuff like this:
So let us be blunt about it: we must use the doctrine of religious liberty to gain independence for Christian schools until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will get busy in constructing a Bible-based social, political and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God.–Gary North